Everything was more glamorous back in the day – flying, hotel bars, shopping malls, the list goes on.
Even amusement parks, which are undoubtedly unglamorous today, were places that called for dressing up years ago.
We rounded up 40 photos of amusement parks around the world taken from the 1930s to the 1970s to show you what a day at the park used to be like.
Keep scrolling to see vintage roller coasters, slides, bumper cars, and more.
Amusement parks were a little simpler back in the day.
A dragon on the Hell-N-Back ride at Rockaway’s Playland in Rockaway, New York, managed to really scare these two women.
It didn’t take nearly as much to scare or thrill people.
This woman came face-to-face with an ape at the Rockaway Playland Amusement Park in Belle Harbour, New York.
Fun house mirrors were all the rage.
Here, Ingrid Goude, who competed for Sweden in the Miss Universe Pageant, examines herself at the Palisades Amusement Park in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.
As were various forms of bumper cars.
These carts at the Palisades Amusement Park were known as dodgem cars.
These may look like bumper cars but they were actually part of the flying saucer ride at Disneyland.
Disneyland used to host commencement parties for high schools. The newly-graduated students in the picture above were lucky enough to attend one.
An amusement park visit was an occasion that called for dressing up.
This photo shows a family leaving the Coney Island theme park in Havana, Cuba.
Regular people dressed up, and so did famous people. Here, Elvis Presley poses on a wagon at Knott’s Berry Farm in California.
Knott’s Berry Farm is still open today.
Celebrities were often photographed at amusement parks.
Here, actress Jayne Meadows and TV and radio personality Steve Allen, as well as Allen’s children from a previous marriage, make their way through the revolving barrel at Rockaway’s Playland in New York.
Even royalty occasionally made a visit to a park.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester purposely missed their train so they could visit the Empire Exhibition at Bellahouston Park near Glasgow, Scotland.
So did athletes.
Here, Rose Queen Barbara Hewitt escorts the Purdue Boilermakers as they visit Disneyland, just before they played Southern California in the Rose Bowl.
Models provided inspiration for artwork at the parks.
Two models pose for the art director at the Rockaway Playland Amusement Park.
Many of the early amusement park rides were fairly tame.
The Swiss sky ride at the New York World’s Fair looks particularly relaxing.
Big slides always made for a great time.
These sliders thoroughly enjoyed themselves on the astro ride at Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, England.
This Coney Island ride provided great views of the boardwalk and beach below.
Coney Island is still popular today.
Carousels were always an ideal choice for little kids.
This merry-go-round was located at Butlin’s amusement park in Skegness, in Lincolnshire, England.
Other rides provided more of a thrill, like the Parachute Jump.
This Coney Island ride took passengers high into the air and let them dangle before dropping them – with a parachute, of course.
For those with a need for speed, there were, of course, roller coasters.
Coney Island’s wooden coaster, the Cyclone, is still running today.
In the early days, roller coasters were made of wood.
This coaster was known as the Jackrabbit and was located in Kennywood Amusement Park in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.
Throughout the years, coasters evolved and became more streamlined.
When this photo was taken, the Screamin’ Eagle (pictured above) at the Six Flags in Eureka, Missouri, was considered the world’s longest, tallest, and fastest roller coaster. It was 3,872 feet long and could reach speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.
The Tidal Wave at Marriott’s Great America Amusement Park in Gurnee, Illinois, was billed as the world’s tallest roller coaster when it opened in May of 1978.
The ride boasted a 76-foot-high vertical hoop.
Later that year, Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, introduced the Colossus, which they said was twice as big as any previous roller coaster.
The ride was constructed from 1,209,687 feet of lumber.
Water rides provided relief on hot days.
Magic Mountain’s Jet Stream ride was known as a “wild, white knuckler-ride.”
The White Water Rampage was introduced to the Six Flags in Gurnee, Illinois, in the 80s.
Judging by the ponchos, it seems like not every rider wanted to get wet.
Just as it is today, upkeep of the rides back then was essential. Although, it was done without the technology that we now have access to.
Here, two men ride on top of one of the carriages on Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel in order to inspect the ride and make sure it was safe.
Besides rides, amusement parks used to offer impressive acts.
Here, the Wallenda family forms a human pyramid as they do their high wire act at Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey where they headlined the King Brothers-Sells and Gray Circus.
This performer at the Kursaal Amusement Park in Essex, England, rode a motorcycle hands-free on what was known as the “Wall of Death.”
Here, a facial contortionist gets into character at Glasgow’s Empire Exhibition.
Some acts were geared more towards adults.
This performer at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark, was imitating Dagmar Hansen, a cabaret singer from the early 1900s.
Animals were also often part of the fun.
Here, a performer known as George ‘Tornado’ Smith clips the claws of his pet lioness, Briton, at Kursaal Amusement Park. Briton rode alongside Smith in a sidecar as he conquered the “Wall of Death” on a motorcycle.
This trainer received a ride from his elephant at the Bois de Boulogne amusement park in Paris.
Even sea creatures weren’t out of the question.
Here, a keeper dressed up as a bear feeds a jumping dolphin at an unidentified amusement park.
Often, attractions were advertised by a fairground barker, who enticed visitors to see or do certain things thanks to the help of a microphone.
A young employee at Palisades Amusement Park.
As is the case today, part of the fun of amusement parks was the food and drinks you’d enjoy while there.
Amusement parks also used to be a lot cheaper. A slice of pizza at Disney will cost you almost $8.
Hot dogs were a park staple from the start.
Hot dogs and amusement parks have a long history.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, park employees often ate amongst props.
A staff member at the Six Flags Over Texas Amusement Park enjoys her lunch in the prop room.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom first opened in 1971.
The park has changed quite a bit since then…
This amusement park was located on the roof of the Matsuya Department Store on Ginza Street in Tokyo, Japan.
These bathing beauties are on the helter-skelter ride at Coney Beach Amusement Park in Porthcawl, Wales.
Leisureland opened in Dubai in the 70s.
The park offered ice skating, pin ball, a magic garden, a rifle range, and more.
No matter where they are, amusement parks have long been a source of fun for kids and adults alike.
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